The second case of COVID-19 was confirmed last Wednesday evening in an email from Student Life. It was later recorded in the Goshen College COVID-19 data dashboard as the first positive case in isolation among GC employees.
The confirmed case required the entire volleyball team to be quarantined in the second floor of Miller Residence Hall, sources confirmed.
The news comes just eight days following confirmation of the first student case.
As of yesterday afternoon, there are officially 18 students in quarantine, 11 of whom are on campus according to Chad Coleman, director of student life operations.
A student in quarantine said the time separated from the rest of campus has been difficult to navigate, and they have been passing time by watching Netflix.
The student-athletes in quarantine will be allowed to leave Miller Residence Hall next Tuesday, Sept. 8, after completing their 14-day quarantine.
The athletic department has been navigating best practices independently as well as working with other schools in the Crossroads League to most safely continue operations.
Erica Albertin, associate athletic director and head athletic trainer, said being able to work closely with the pandemic task force and other supervisors on campus has been helpful after getting word of the first case within the department.
“We hope for the best and plan for the worst,” Albertin said.
On top of implementing physical distancing, mandatory mask and maximum capacity guidelines inside the Rec-Fit Center, the department has had to make changes to how fall sports will look in general.
According to Albertin, this includes shortening schedules for all fall sports and limiting travel especially with out of conference opponents.
Although the NAIA has gone back on some of their guidelines for requiring testing, GC has already begun testing for fall student-athletes and will be finished by today with results pending until next Monday.
With the autonomy put on the schools and conference, Albertin believes it is important for schools to make the best decisions for their student-athletes.
“Having our president be [knowledgeable of] public health has been fantastic,” Albertin said. “If we have questions we can go straight to the leader and ask her.”
But with that decision-making, Albertin also recognizes there’s some risk involved.
“There’s always risk,” she said, “but there’s a lot of risk with mental health and isolation if you’re by yourself all the time. We have to look at all the factors and let the student-athlete decide what’s best for themself.”
Rustin Nyce, assistant athletic director, has seen student-athletes welcome the many changes that are needed to adapt for their safety.
“I’ve been really impressed by how careful the athletes are being with their health and the health of others,” Nyce said. “The attitude in the RFC seems like one of gratitude to be back at school with the opportunity to take part in our sports.”
The second case of COVID-19 on campus has sent more students in quarantine, but fall sports are moving forward with competition in the coming weeks, barring positive test results.